COVINGTON — First-year Alcovy boys head basketball coach Jabari Levi will have to focus on defense if they hope to achieve their main goal for the season.
“We want to keep (opponents) to between 50-60 points. We have a goal to hold teams to under a certain point level every game and we value the basketball and don’t beat ourselves. If we do that we’ll be in every ballgame,” Levi said. “To me as a coach, if I could put my players in a position where they’re in the ballgame in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter. At that point it’s all about the players who want it and are disciplined and can execute down the stretch.”
A reason for wanting to stay out of high-scoring situations is that Levi does not have any players that he can consistently count on to score 25-points a game.
“Defense is what is going to fuel our offense,” Levi said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to develop that (20-25 point) player as the season progresses. But right now we don’t have that.”
The other aspect of the makeup of the team that Levi has to contend with is that he does not have any returning starters and only one player, Lareco Herring, that any significant time on the court from last year. While some coaches might see that as a problem, Levi see’s it as a chance to implement is system of basket ball without being compared to former coach Eugene Brown.
We have a couple of seniors that have stepped up, such as Lareco Herring, and we have a couple of good sophomores. I think my younger groups are going to be very good. I’m trying to figure out how much would I like to have some of them play down as much as I need them to play up as well.
“The one thing is that the guys want to get better. They’ve receptive to whatever knowledge or basketball information I give them. I very much appreciate it,” Levi said. “Right now they’re not in the shape they need to be in. But I know we will.”
While being the No. 1 seed from the region would be a way to start postseason season play, that is not a important to Levi. All he wants to do is make sure his team is there to start the big dance.
“There are seven teams in the region and the top four go to state. So our goal is to get to that postseason and see how things fall from there,” he said.
“It’s a work in progress. This is my first year building it up. There are no returning starters and one player with any significant minutes. It’ll take a little while for us to get going. I just want people to support us through the end. I guarantee you that we’ll be a lot better in the end. We just have to patient and look to the future and understand that there are going to be better and brighter days.”